Gov. Ned Lamont called on President Donald Trump to tell a mob storming the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday to end their protest in order to avoid further violence.
“Mr. President, your words have consequences and your angry words have dangerous consequences,” Lamont said during an 18-second video transmitted via Twitter. “Demand that your agitators stand down and respect the peaceful transfer of power.”
Speaking within minutes of the emergency shutdown of Congress in the wake of an apparent riot goaded by Trump’s words, Lamont was among the first state or local leaders to react to what he, like the rest of the nation, was seeing play out on television.
A mob of as many as several thousand pro-Trump supporters surrounded, and some entered, the Capitol building and engaged with riot police, ending Congress’ joint session of what is typically a pro-forma procedure — the counting of Electoral College votes which would allow President-elect Joe Biden to assume office later this month.
One person was reported shot. Rioters used ropes and ladders to scale walls surrounding Congress in what was apparently at least a partially planned action.
The Connecticut Republican Party and Connecticut State House Republicans joined Lamont, a Democrat, in condemning the storming of Congress. The Twitter account representing state Senate GOP members called it “unacceptable in any circumstance as were all of the violent protests we have seen over the last six months.”
“Violence is never the answer. What we see unfolding today in Washington D.C. is putting a black eye on our party and our Republic,” CT GOP tweeted.
“This is an insurrection. And President Trump bears responsibility,” tweeted U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
As far as Southington Town Councilor Tom Lombardi is concerned, Joe Biden was elected lawfully and protests of that fact should be based on facts and conducted civilly, he said.
“Sometimes the person you want wins, and sometimes the person loses,” said Lombardi, a Republican.
Nothing like this has likely happened in American history since the War of 1812, when the British invaded Washington, Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati said.
“There is this disbelief that this is happening in our nation’s capital. It is something that I didn’t think I would see in my lifetime,” Scarpati said. “It is just unprecedented and about one man (Trump) whose feelings got hurt. This is 100 percent at his hands. It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.”
State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff called the events in Washington treasonous.
“To the American people who are going about their lives as #treason and #Sedition is happening at the U.S. Capitol. Stop what you are doing,” Duff tweeted. “Watch. Be disgusted, appalled and angry. We. Can. Never. Let. This. Happen. Again. Our Democracy is fragile and freedom is not guaranteed.”
Meriden officials don’t expect local protests to materialize in the wake of the siege in D.C., Scarpati said.
“I am wondering what’s next but hoping that nothing really comes of fruition,” he said.
Lombardi said he thought of his grandmother, who sent her family to the U.S. from Cuba, because she believed that America was a great country – a standard betrayed by violence.
“Certainly this is a year of protests. Both sides of the extremes are just totally unacceptable. It (violent protests] just needs to end. It's really sickening,” he said. “This is not the country my grandmother would be proud of now.”
“We can be so much better than this.”